Pairing breakfast with a Northern Michigan hike is a match made in heaven. Launch your morning with a delicious breakfast in a Northern Michigan restaurant followed by an invigorating walk on a Traverse City trail, through a Petoskey forest, wetlands or the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. (Prefer to walk then eat? That works too.)

Glen Arbor

Breakfast: Good Harbor Grill 
Lovably kitschy with a nautical old resort ambience, the Good Harbor Grill serves sublime Higher Grounds coffee to complement multigrain cakes doused in local maple syrup, Crooked Tree granola or shiitake and spinach scrambles.

Hike: Pyramid Point Trail
This 2.6-mile trail in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore winds through beech and maple forest en route to its summit sporting one of the best bright-sand, blue-water panoramas on the planet.


Breakfast: Twisted Olive 
Try the savory Crêpe Marilynn with egg, muhammara and provolone, French toast with fruit compote on housemade challah or a greek yogurt parfait. Start with coffee and end with a cocktail before hitting the trail.

Hike: Petoskey State Park Portage & Old Baldy Trails 
Step along the thick deciduous forest covering ancient dunes at the back of the park, and catch a panoramic vista of Little Traverse Bay from the top of Old Baldy.

Traverse City

Breakfast: Chez Pères 
Petit déjeuner and perambulation are both very French and where better than Chez Pères to preface your spring saunter with crêpes and café au lait? Stay spry with fruit and a croissant, or go all the way with poached eggs and perfect hollandaise.

Hike: Boardman Lake Trail
This tranquil, flat two-mile trail along the east side of Boardman Lake provides a great dose of plein air between breakfast and an afternoon of shopping and cafe lounging in downtown Traverse City.


Breakfast: The Brutus Camp Deli  
Northern fortitude in the form of farm eggs, Plath’s smoked meats and planetary pancakes are available at this shrine to big food and taxidermy between Alanson and Pellston run by the always affable Forrest Friend and his legion of camo-clad camp cooks.

Hike: The Headlands
Traverse a four-mile loop through a mix of dense trillium-studded woodlands and pebbly beach along Cecil Bay and the Straits of Mackinac with vistas of the bridge and the islands beyond.


Breakfast: The Lakeview at Shanty Creek 
An eyeful of Lake Bellaire and a bellyful of oatmeal, fresh berries and grapefruit brûlée (shown above) in Shanty Creek’s elegantly appointed flagship dining room will have you ready to don the tweeds and march through the rough.

Hike: Grass River Natural Area
Interlocking trail loops cover 7.5 collective miles of pristine uplands and wetlands between Clam Lake and Lake Bellaire with flora and fauna aplenty.

This article is featured in the May 2013 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Get your copy today!